The preseason is officially over, and the majority of your favorite fantasy stars rested for their teams' final exhibition contests. But since our last injury tracker a week ago, there are some big updates worth noting on players who were either injured in practice or updates on guys who were already on the shelf. So whether you're still preparing for your draft over the holiday weekend, or are looking to add depth from the waiver wire, make sure you're in the know on the latest injury news.
LeSean McCoy, RB, Buffalo Bills (hamstring)
We recently learned more about the severity of the hamstring injury that LeSean McCoy suffered in practice on August 18. The Bills are apparently concerned about Shady's status to suit up for the team's regular season opener since an MRI showed a "small tear", which is much more severe than just a strain or a pull. Obviously this is bad news for anyone who has already drafted McCoy. If he can't suit up, the Bills will likely roll with a committee approach between Bryce Brown, Anthony Dixon and Karlos Williams, none of whom we suggest starting in your fantasy lineup.
Julius Thomas, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars (hand surgery)
When Thomas fractured his finger in the Jaguars preseason opener, the early word was that he'd be ready to play by Week 1. But we learned this week that his injury will require surgery and that he could miss at least a month of regular season action. This is a huge blow to his fantasy stock as well as the top end of the tight end pool. You can probably draft him in the double-digit rounds going forward, but be aware of the risk involved as he's had trouble staying healthy throughout his career. If you're looking for a fill-in, some guys that might be lingering on the waiver wire in 10-team leagues include Tyler Eifert and Kyle Rudolph. If you play in a deeper league, try targeting Larry Donnell or Jordan Reed.
Alshon Jeffery, WR, Chicago Bears (calf)
The Bears' No. 1 wideout and potential top-10 fantasy receiver hasn't practiced mid-August due to a calf injury. The severity of Jeffery's injury, though, seems to be a mystery. Coach John Fox was "terse and vague" earlier this week regarding the status of his talented pass-catcher's health according to Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune and declined to discuss his status after the Bears final preseason game on Thursday. While we're not dropping him in the rankings just yet, Fox's determination to remain ambiguous on the situation is concerning. As long as Jeffery is ready to rock for the season opener against the Packers, fantasy owners should be firing him up.
Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers (shoulder)
Twitter was lit aflame last Saturday when images of Randall Cobb walking to the locker room with a potentially serious injury began to spread. But good news for the Packers as Cobb's shoulder sprain wasn't severe enough to keep him from suiting up in Week 1. "I don't plan on missing a game," said the Green Bay wideout. There is of course the chance that Cobb plays at less than 100 percent which could limit his ability to make tougher catches, but if he's starting for the Packers on September 13, he should be starting for your fantasy team too.
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Calm down everyone, Travis Kelce is fine, nothing to see here. After a rash of panic-stricken tweets regarding Kelce's early departure from Chiefs practice on Tuesday with what was first called a "right leg injury", coach Andy Reid followed up later in the day confirming that it wasn't serious. Reid referred to it as a "slight sprained ankle" and assured the press that Kelce would likely play this week if Kansas City had a regular season game. He should be A-OK for the season opener so don't go scouring the waiver wire just yet.
Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos (hamstring)
Emmanuel Sanders has been nursing a hamstring injury throughout the preseason and hasn't played a snap in exhibition play. But coach Gary Kubiak said this week that Sanders could have played if it were the regular season, which means he's on the mend and will likely be ready to rock for Denver's season opener and should be able to live up to his average Round 4 draft slot this season.
Jace Amaro, TE, New York Jets (torn labrum)
The Jets' second round pick in 2014 is out for the season with a torn labrum. Tight end Jace Amaro was placed on season-ending IR this week as he will need surgery to repair the injury he suffered in New York's preseason opener. It leaves the Jets incredibly thin at tight end and puts a damper on whatever dynasty value Amaro had left. He had potential as a deep sleeper in a new Jets offense, but we'll have to wait to see if he can make a return sometime next year.
Matt Franciscovich is an associate fantasy editor at NFL.com. His nickname around the NFL Media office is Franchise, and he's totally cool with it. If you're looking to kill some more time, be sure to check out his player rankings and follow him on Twitter for fantasy advice all season long _@mfranciscovich_.